What was the budget breakdown for your wedding?
- Venue and rentals: $4,700
- Food and service: $8,000
- Beverages: $1,400
- Cake: $500
- Bride attire: $1,500
- Makeup: $75
- Groom attire: $100
- Flowers: $850
- Other decor: $200
- Sound system: $100
- Photography: $1,500
- Save the dates and invitations: $100
- Favor donation/cards: $200
- Wedding planner/day of coordination: $3,000
Total: Approximately $22,000
How many guests did you have?
About 175 guests attended our wedding.
How did you meet?
We met during my last semester of undergrad and Joey’s first semester of graduate school, performing in our university’s musical together. I was playing cello in the band and Joey was acting. We both worked for a Shakespeare festival after that and built a friendship before we started dating.
What is your proposal story?
Before we started dating, I told Joey I was visiting an indoor theme park called Safari Land with friends. I told him it was fun and suggested we go together sometime. Joey agreed and jokingly told me, “I’ll go with you, but you have to know: If I go to Safari Land with a girl, I marry her,” in an attempt to hint to me that he liked me as more than a friend. A year and a half went by and we had begun a relationship but never visited Safari Land. In March 2016, my friend Laura pretended that she had won free tickets to Safari Land and so we went on a double date with her and her husband where we played games and rode rides. When we stepped outside at the end of the date, Laura pretended she had forgotten something inside and came back out with a wrapped package for me. It was a sign that read, “If I go to Safari Land with a girl, I marry her.” Joey told me that for the rest of their lives, he wants me to know that he is a man of his word. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Laura and her husband caught the moment through photos and video. The other guests at the theme park were probably very confused why this was happening at Safari Land!
Describe your wedding vision.
It was important to us for our wedding to have a personal, homegrown feel, so we enlisted the assistance of our many friends to help personalize the celebration. Our officiant, reader, musicians, photographer, DJ, and wedding planner were all friends. I’m from Chicago, but since we were moving to Austin (Joey’s home), we decided that a rustic, folksy feel in Texas would be perfect. We chose mostly acoustic folk music performed by our many talented friends. Brodie Homestead, a historic barn in Austin, was convenient for guests to access from an urban setting and has a gorgeous live oak to take photos besides. Since we were getting married in the winter and love wine tasting together, we chose a deep wine color palette and other wine-themed decor.
Tell us about your attire choices.
I knew I wanted a romantic lace dress, but one that felt unique. I fell in love with the unique, vintage-looking lace pattern, scalloped sweetheart necklace, and pearl beaded straps of the Wtoo by Watters Elise dress. The fact that the dress had the same name as my sister made me feel like it was fate!
We wanted the wedding to feel fun and relaxed and not too formal, so Joey wore a tweed vest with no suit jacket and all the groomsmen wore linen collarless shirts with suspenders. We carried the wine-themed details into the boutonnieres by utilizing wine corks to hold the flowers.
I wanted the bridesmaids to look uniform but still incorporate their own style, so they chose their own dress necklines, as well as their own shoes and jewelry. For their gifts, I gave them each a unique, meaningful Alex & Ani bracelet that they all chose to wear for the wedding.
What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
The most important thing for us while planning is that the entire experience was enjoyable, relaxed, and minimally stressful for everyone involved. For that reason (and because we partially planned from a distance while still living in Chicago) we splurged on paying a wedding planner, who was Joey’s former co-worker. She did an amazing job and her services were worth every penny. We would not have known about many of the vendors (like the great prices on H-E-B Blooms or the amazing rates we received for the Omni Southpark) without her expertise. She also ran the day-of coordination seamlessly and we didn’t have to worry on the wedding day because she had been involved throughout the entire process.
While we initially really wanted a live band, we decided it would be much more cost-effective and personalized to run a music playlist for the reception dancing and have our friends play music live for special moments throughout the wedding. One of our friends volunteered to both play/sing during cocktail hour and make and run a playlist for dancing. It was so meaningful to also have friends play and sing during our ceremony and for our first dance.
It was important for us to include all of the 16 special people that made up our wedding party, even though that created added costs.
I chose to splurge on airbrush makeup and skip getting my hair professionally done.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
Joey loves Back to the Future, so I surprised him with a replica of the DeLorean time machine as the getaway car! Joey’s groomsmen helped decorate my own car as a decoy, and I slipped in a hint with a handmade BTTF “To My Future Husband” card. Surprising him at the end of the sparkler exit was one of my favorite parts of the day.
Joey’s gift to me was equally as memorable. He sent me a bible to the bridal sweet that was personalized with my new name, and I was overwhelmingly touched. Before the ceremony, my bridesmaids all laid hands on me and prayed.
The weather was dreary and absolutely freezing on our wedding day, which was not so fun, but we were determined to take photos outside by the oak tree! It was great to see everyone come together and brave it (my cousins ran out last minute to get me a wrap for photos, and everyone was sharing jackets). The outdoor photos still turned out wonderful, even though you can see our goosebumps if you zoom in. We didn’t get as many photos as we wanted outside because it was so unbearable, but our photographer noticed the sun peeking out during cocktail hour and grabbed just the two of us to get some beautiful sunset shots! I was so grateful.
Honestly, the best part of the day was having so many friends and family members from all walks of life together in one room, dancing and laughing together. Both of our dads talked in their speeches about how wonderful it was to meld the family together and how much fun they all had together throughout the week. To see our loved ones get along and meld together so perfectly was incredibly special.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
I’m vegan and absolutely love cake, so it was imperative that we found a delicious dairy-free cake. Capital City Bakery, my favorite (all-vegan) bakery in Austin came through for us and multiple guests talked about how unbelievably delicious it was. We elected to have a smaller tiered cake alongside two different sheet cakes for variety and to cut down on cost. We chose a champagne cake with caramel frosting and chocolate cake with chocolate hazelnut frosting and it was DIVINE.
What did you do for favors?
In lieu of favors, we donated money to the Austin Humane Society, from where we adopted our beloved miniature schnauzer mix, Roscoe. We created favor cards with Roscoe’s picture explaining the donation we made in honor of our guests.
Describe any DIYs, handmade, or personal details.
Joey loves the Rocky movies and I share a name with Rocky’s wife, so I handmade the wedding cake topper – a wooden doll replica of Rocky and Adrian Balboa.
Since Joey is an actor and I’m a classical musician and we grew to know each other through working at a Shakespeare festival, we named our dinner tables after Shakespeare plays that have musical pieces named after them. We DIY-ed table signs that displayed the sheet music for these pieces.
My mom and bridesmaids helped me DIY a lot for the wedding, including hand-making the save-the-dates and setting up a photo booth with a Polaroid camera. My mom made burlap and lace wrappers for cylinder vases for half of the dinner tables. The other centerpieces were stacked vintage books with lanterns on top. We framed our wedding aisle with wine barrels that had our parents’ wedding photos on one side and a memorial candle on the other.
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
It is a tradition in my family for both parents to walk the bride down the aisle, so both of my parents did so.
My “something old” was my late maternal grandmother’s sapphire birthstone ring (the same birthstone as me). My “something borrowed” was my maternal grandmother’s engagement diamond turned into a necklace – it belongs to my sister, Elise. (Elise was married six months prior, and she wore the same necklace for her “something old” and the heirloom sapphire ring for her “something borrowed.”) We have photos of each of us clasping the necklace on the other for her wedding day, which is really special.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
As I stated above, hiring a wedding planner was 100% worth it to save on research time, stress/anxiety, and money in other places! Costs of everything add up very, very quickly, so for me, the least expensive option was usually the right option. Best money-saving tips: utilize bride/bridesmaids bouquets as centerpieces, buy your own wine cases/kegs if the venue allows it, and order your invitations from Etsy!
Photography: Eva Cranford Photography • Ceremony Venue: Brodie Homestead • Reception Venue: Brodie Homestead • Catering: Austin Catering • Floral: H-E-B Blooms • Wedding Cake: Capital City Bakery • Rentals: Premiere Events • Transportation: GREAT SCOTT TIME MACHINE RENTALS • Rentals: Bee Lavish Vintage Rentals • Makeup: STAY POLISHED AUSTIN • Event Planning: CRYSTAL PICCIANO • Ceremony Musicians: BRIAN PATTERSON • Accommodations: Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark • Invitations: WISEMONKEY PAPERIE • Wedding Dress: Bijou Bridal & Special Occasion • Bride’s Shoes: DSW • Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal • Flower Crowns: HEB Blooms • Wedding Ring: Etsy • Earrings: Forever 21 • Wrap: David’s Bridal • Groom’s Attire: Gap • Groomsmen Attire: Gap • Submitted via: Matchology